Archive for April, 2008

Or Joe & Cathy’s Ungodly Patriotism

By John Earl
OC Voice Editor

“Yes! Yes! Yes! Congratulations, you guys down there,” Bakersfield City Councilmember, Jacquie Sullivan, said over the phone when reached by the OC Voice.

She must have been smiling from ear to ear, just like Jan Crouch on Trinity Broadcasting Network, when she rejoiced, inIn God We Trust Secretary Mark Abernathy with the Governor. her bouncy Bakersfield country-style voice, “I just heard about it, that’s very exciting news.”

Sullivan is the founder of In God We Trust – America Inc., a non profit 503c3 organization formed in 2002 “To promote patriotism by encouraging elected city officials to display our national motto ‘In God We Trust’ in every city hall in America.”

She was talking about the April 7 vote by the Huntington Beach City Council to make “In God We Trust” the city’s new motto to be hung in the council chambers.

The council debate preceding the vote was a sectarian skirmish, ill-timed for Mayor Debbie Cook, a democrat, who wants to replace republican incumbent Dana Rohrabacher next November to represent the 46th Congressional District,* where God and country are a normal part of political discourse and decision making.

In 2002, during her first one-year term as mayor (councilmembers rotate yearly to fill the position), Cook respected God and Country by keeping the two separate, as many believe that America’s most authoritative guide to law and order-the U.S. Constitution-requires elected officials to do-by not holding city sanctioned invocations.

Since starting her current term as mayor, however, Cook has followed tradition and the invocation is part of the city council’s official routine.

Cook, who told the Voice in a March interview that “I don’t talk about religion,” bristled when asked then if her change of heart had anything to do with her campaign for congress. “No! The Constitution has a prohibition against religious tests…So what was the next question you’re asking me,” she snapped.


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Why I Proposed a Spay and Neuter Ordinance

By Keith Bohr
Mayor Pro-Tem, Huntington Beach, California

BohrI have had a few former elected officials over the past few months advise me that one should not meddle when it comes to people’s children or their animals. Definitely information I could have used a year or more ago!

So why did I propose the City of Huntington Beach adopt a “Mandatory Spay Neuter Chip” Ordinance?

A quick look at the numbers:

Six million cats and dogs in the United States are euthanized each year. In California approximately 800,000 dogs and cats end up in taxpayer-funded shelters every year and more than half are euthanized at a cost of more than a quarter of a billion dollars.

Orange County Animal Care Services, contracting with 21 cities, including Huntington Beach, picked up 29,690 stray animals in 2006. Despite commendable efforts by the county to reunite these animals with their owners, or to adopt them out to new owners, the county still had to euthanize more that 12,000 dogs and cats that year. Huntington Beach, which pays the County approximately $400,000 annually for animal control, accounted for more than 1,500 dogs and cats that were picked up, and 40 percent of those were euthanized.

We are killing too many of our pets! (more…)

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Isn’t $250,000 Enough?

By John Earl
OC Voice Editor


As a candidate for governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger proclaimed “I don’t need to take any [campaign contribution] money from anybody else; I have plenty of money myself.”

And he warned that, “Any of those kinds of real, big, powerful special interests, if you take money from them, you owe them something.”

Five years later, Governor Schwarzenegger has collected over $124 million in campaign contributions from special interest groups, the largest chunk, over $20 million, coming from real estate, development and construction concerns, according to ArnoldWatch.org. And critics say he has served the needs of corporations over the needs of the people.

While cynics, who lament the loss of “one person one vote” to “one dollar one vote,” created by corporate donors and PACS, and call for public financing of campaigns as a solution, Huntington Beach Councilmember Don Hansen and some of his colleague’s think they have a better idea: allow unlimited individual campaign contributions to city council candidates.

Last August, Hansen proposed increasing the current $300 limit to $500 retroactively, but removed the latter when skeptics objected that past limit violations could be covered up. A subcommittee was then formed to study the overall issue of campaign regulation reform and to make recommendations to the city council at a later date, which it did at a March 17 study session.

Hansen chaired the committee and councilmembers Cathy Green and Jill Hardy joined him along with several H.B. residents. The committee met 5 times and reviewed campaign regulations for 7 other Orange County cities and the State.

Two main issues remain unsettled: spending limits and whether to redact personal address information from electronic (Internet) filings of candidates’ financial contribution updates. (more…)

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Native Americans Lose Sacred Site to Developer
‘What are you suggesting we do,’ CEO asks

By John Earl, Scott Sink and Rashi Kesarwani
OC Voice


Hearthside Homes CEO Edward Mountford angrily denied reports that the company had uncovered 87 ancient Native American burial remains since breaking ground in June of 2006 on its planned 356 unit Brightwater housing project or had failed to report them the Orange County Coroner’s office in a manner required by California law.

Brightwater is on 105.3 acres of land on the upper bench of the Bolsa Chica Mesa in Huntington Beach.

“It was all reported on time, according to the regulations,” Mountford told the Voice.

Mountford’s denial came despite a leaked company memo showing that 87 “human bone concentrations” along with 4,217 artifacts, some of which were directly associated with the burials, were uncovered “during the grading monitoring” on a 11.8 acre section of the Hearthside property known as ORA-83.

The memo was first revealed by Flossie Horgan, Executive Director of the Bolsa Chica Land Trust, a locally based group dedicated to restoring the Bolsa Chica wetlands. Even with the memo, however, it is still not clear if the remains were reported to the coroner or not; presumably, the coroner may have had the information but failed to report it to the Native American Heritage Commission within 24 hours as required by law. (more…)

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